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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Top 10 Ways to Decrease Your Allergies to Cats

After having a fantastic adoption week last week and adopting four great cats, only to have three of the four returned today because of allergies and becoming very disheartened, I feel it's necessary to point out that there's a way to keep the cat but reduce those allergy symptoms. I absoutely do not advocate putting your health or the health of your family at risk because of severe cat allergies. I just want to share some recommended steps to decrease your (or your partner's) cat allergies.
  1. No more cats sleeping on the bed. Sorry, this is a small price to pay for allergy relief. If you get your symptoms under control by all means invite them back, but give yourself a break while you are trying to abate your symptoms.
  2. Keep them out of the bedroom altogether. Close the bedroom door to try and keep the cat allergen down in the bedroom. Your bedroom should be a sanctuary from allergens. So tempt your cats to sleep elsewhere during the day.
  3. Wash all bedding in 140-degree hot water at least twice monthly.This eliminates both dust mite and cat allergen (because we know some of you will still let them sneak up on the bed every now and then).
  4. Use HEPA air filters in rooms where your cats frequent. HEPA air purifiers do require continued filter replacement, but when push comes to shove and you are in need of allergy relief, a good HEPA filter will do it for you.
  5. Vacuum up cat allergen with a high grade HEPA vacuum cleaner twice weekly.Vacuum walls, carpet, flooring, chairs, and furniture...everywhere. Use the hand tools on the vacuum. Cat allergen particles are very small and invasive so you really have to do a thorough job. Good hand tools on your vacuum cleaner are the answer here. Also, installing a central vacuum will help pick up the rest.
  6. Use a vapor steam cleaner to clean your home.In addition to vacuuming, vapor steam cleaners are now proven by research to be extremely helpful in killing off the cat proteins/dander, which are embedded in your carpets and upholstery. Steam cleaners provide a chemical-free way of cleaning and killing dust mites, bacteria, mold spores and cat allergen.
  7. Wash your hands immediately after petting your cat and do not rub your eyes.Rubbing your eyes can result in itchy eyes for hours. Use a strong anti-bacterial soap to avoid this problem.
  8. Clean your cat.Some people wash their cats to reduce the amount of cat allergen that is released from their cat into the air, but research seems to be conflicting about its effectiveness. Allerpet, a well-known brand of liquid that reduces cat allergen in the air, can be applied to your cats' coat and is available from your local veterinarian. Alternatively, you can get a micro fiber cloth and just damp rub down the cats' coats to rid it of visible dander. The majority of cats would prefer this to the highly dreaded bath.
  9. You do not have to get rid of your cat! If you do a good job with the above steps, your cat allergies should be significantly decreased. Keeping a cat when you have allergies takes a concerted effort, and is only for those who are nutty enough about their cats (like us), to go to all this trouble.
  10. Reduce your other allergies. Few individuals are allergic only to cats

Before taking the drastic measure of getting rid of the cat, first make sure that it is a cat allergy that you are suffering from. Your doctor can perform an allergy test to determine which allergens affect you.

1 comment:

camilynn said...

Hi,

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